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What is the Role of Comparative Negligence in Ohio Personal Injury Claims?

 Posted on September 09, 2019 in Uncategorized

Medina personal injury attorneyWhen an injury-causing accident happens, there is often more than one reason the accident occurred. For example, a car accident may be caused by a combination of poor weather, intoxicated driving, and a traffic violation like speeding. 

When an injured person brings a personal injury lawsuit against another party, the court must consider all of the factors that led up to the accident, and many personal injury cases involve more than one party who acted negligently. In some cases, the person bringing the personal injury claim was in some way partly to blame for the accident. In situations like these, comparative negligence laws dictate the amount of damages a partially at-fault claimant can pursue.

Ohio Comparative Negligence Laws

Comparative negligence, sometimes called comparative fault, is a legal concept that dictates how damages are reduced when a claimant’s negligence contributed to their accident. Different states have different laws regarding comparative negligence. In some states, a claimant cannot pursue any damages through a personal injury lawsuit if he or she was even slightly at fault for the injury-causing accident. Fortunately, Ohio courts follow a shared negligence model called “modified comparative fault.” In Ohio, a claimant is still allowed to pursue compensation for their damages as long as they are less than 51 percent at fault for the accident. Put another way, the claimant can still bring a personal injury lawsuit as long as they were not more at fault than the defendant.

Damages Are Reduced According to the Claimant’s Liability

In situations of shared fault, a claimant’s recoverable damages are reduced by his or her liability. Consider the following example: A pedestrian is crossing the street when she is struck and hurt by a distracted driver. The driver of the vehicle was acting negligently by not paying enough attention to his surroundings. However, the pedestrian also acted negligently by jaywalking instead of crossing the street at the marked crosswalk. In a case like this, the court would assign a percentage of fault to each party and reduce the pedestrian’s recoverable damages according to her liability. If she incurred $10,000 of damages and was found to be 20 percent at fault, the maximum amount of damages she could recover would be $8,000. 

Contact a Medina Shared Liability Attorney

If you were hurt in an accident for which you were partially to blame, you may still be able to recover damages. Speak with an experienced Medina County personal injury lawyer from the Law Offices of Andrew M. Parker, LLC to discuss your options for compensation. Call our office today at 330-725-4114 to schedule a confidential consultation. We offer cost-free initial consultations in most cases.



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